Netizens click on cyber law review

PREVENTING ABUSES: They also want govt to find balance when regulating World Wide Web

KUALA LUMPUR : NETIZENS are adding their voices to calls to address cyber  anarchy.

While they welcome the move to revamp the law on the use  of the Internet, they want the government to be tactful in  regulating the World Wide Web.

The Communication and Multimedia Ministry on Thursday  said it would study  Internet laws  in the United States, the  United Kingdom and Australia to prevents abuses on social  media.

The ministry, along with the  Malaysian Communications  and  Multimedia Commission, will review illegal downloading  of materials, pornography, commercial abuses and other  abuses.

Malaysians have become vocal in expressing their views  on   blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Some have posted allegedly  seditious remarks.

Recent examples include postings allegedly insulting the  Yang di-Pertuan Agong and blasphemous statements against  Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

Blogger Syed Akbar Ali said: “It’s good that the ministry is    studying laws in open and liberal countries, although  current  laws can be  maintained but tightened.”

Syed Akbar, who writes as OutSyed The Box, said specific  issues should be streamlined, but added that the ministry and   MCMC should be tactful in regulating the Internet.

“Some issues that should be streamlined are scams that   appear as advertisements and underhand tactics used to  promote businesses online.”

Social media user Jasbir Singh Gill, 27, an entrepreneur,  said if the new laws were carried out, they would provide a  win-win situation for  the  ministry and Internet users.

“The laws are vital as scams are being blatantly advertised  online. But with regulation, the freedom of  speech of Internet   users may be affected.”

However, he added, it would  be impossible to curb illegal  downloading.

“There are proxy servers to bypass censorship and IP-  changing software for people to download illegally.  When the  high demand for  illegal downloads increases, the supply of   software to tackle the  problem will be high.”

Musician Balamurugan Ramakrishnan, 33, said a  new law  should be carried out only after a study on  Internet trends  was  done.

“With the revamped  law, Malaysians can say bye-bye to  porn, illegal downloads and  fraudulent businesses, and  welcome a more affordable online content and a safer  cyberspace.”

Student Adrian Thomas said revamping the law would stop  troublemakers and cyber hooligans, but  added that the  implementation must be governed by an independent body to  ensure objectivity.

Lawyer Katrina Razif said the negative uses of social media  could be prevented  and many Netizens would benefit from  the tightening of cyber laws.  

“It is good that the government is taking the initiative to  stamp out the negative aspects of the Internet. At the same  time, it needs to  find  balance in terms of freedom of speech  for netizens.

“The key is to allow netizens to  browse through legitimate  content, while limiting access to  illegal and negative as pects.”

However, Amir  Sharipuddin, 26, said netizens should also  be educated on the ethics of Internet use to decide on what  was good and bad.

“There are always new materials to be discovered, but  once we start regulating them, there will be no end to it. The  moment you start regulating, there will be other regulations  to follow the earlier  ones.”

Read more: Netizens click on cyber law review – General – New Straits Times

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